by Dr. Kayla Causey

Our second trip with Wood Canyon (on Tuesday) started off much like our first, with clear skies, and smooth seas… but as you can see from our cover sheet below, things quickly changed. About half an hour into our venture, the winds picked up, and our beaufort state dropped from a 2 (small, short wavelets) to a 4 (small waves becoming larger, fairly frequent foam crests). The white caps make it difficult to distinguish the blows of a whale or the splash of a dolphin from the chop caused by the wind. However, fortunately, before the winds took a turn for the worse, we were able to spot some common dolphins and give the scholars a chance to practice some data collection.

We spotted the dolphins at about 9:50 heading down the coast in 20 fathoms of water. There were approximately 200 individuals, and they enjoyed bow-riding and surfing in our boat wake. Check out the photo below of the leaping dolphin peaking up at us, shot by one of our volunteers Carla Mitroff! We stayed with the dolphins until shortly after 10:00, which unfortunately is about the time the weather got rough. We stuck it out, searching for gray whales, but we didn’t have any luck sighting them. The young scholars seemed to just enjoy being on the boat and playing in the wind and waves anyway!

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